Governor Brian Kemp (R-GA) has formally joined other GOP governors by issuing an executive order that bans any form of state-mandated vaccine passports. Similar to other governors, Kemp encouraged the state’s residents to receive the vaccine, but he also stressed that whether or not to receive the vaccine should remain an individual choice. Moreover, regardless of the choices made, all individuals should have the right to return to a state of pre-pandemic normalcy.
Vaccination is a personal decision between each citizen and a medical professional— not state government. Today, I released an executive order prohibiting COVID-19 vaccine passports in state government. https://t.co/cbmscfHbEs
— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) May 25, 2021
Kemp asserted that he certainly encourages Georgians to receive the vaccine in order to continue the “momentum in putting the COVID-19 pandemic in the rearview,” but he also asserts that choosing whether or not to become vaccinated “is a personal decision” between private citizens and medical professionals, not between private citizens and the government.
Kemp also noted that his executive order explicitly states that all data collected by the state with regards to who has and has not received the COVID vaccine “will not be used by any public or private entity” for any form of a state-mandated vaccination passport program.
Moreover, the order also requires public employers in the state to establish clear guidelines, regardless of employees’ vaccination status; additionally, it stymies COVID vaccine passports from being commanded to enter Georgia.
Kemp joins other GOP governors who have taken similar measures in their own states, including Greg Abbott of Texas, Kristi Noem of South Dakota, Kay Ivey of Alabama, and Ron DeSantis of Florida. All of these governors have also issued bans regarding state-mandated vaccination passports. In contrast, Democrat governors are considering making COVID vaccine passports a requirement for their own states’ residents to resume their normal, pre-pandemic daily activities.